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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-10-15

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, October 15, 1997

Turkish jets harass minister's plane

THE annual Nikiforos National Guard exercise was the main topic in almost all of yesterday's Greek newspapers. Special attention was given to the harassment by Turkish jet fighters of the military transport plane carrying Greek Defence Minister Akis Tzohatzopoulos to Cyprus.

Phileleftheros says the two Greek air force planes escorting Tzohatzopoulos's plane landed at Paphos airport and would be stationed there until the minister's return to Greece later this week. In a related story the paper says that according to foreign diplomats it is expected that the tense atmosphere will get worse before it gets any better. The diplomats expect Turkish provocations to intensify during a military exercise by Turkish forces in November.

Simerini, in a front-page story, says President Clerides and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis will discuss which tactics to follow in view of Turkey's attempts to increase tension in the region over the last few days. The meeting was due to take place in Athens yesterday. According to the paper, President Clerides said Richard Holbrooke's visit to Ankara was of great importance and not merely limited to defusing the tense atmosphere in Greco-Turkish relations.

Alithia says that following the harassment of his plane Tzohatzopoulos, during comments at Larnaca airport, chose to downgrade the importance of the incident. Regarding Holbrooke's visit to Turkey, the paper says that his trip had been planned well before the Nikiforos exercise and the resulting tension in the area. The paper says that according to Turkish sources the Cyprus problem is an issue hindering smooth relations between Nato allies Turkey and the US.

Haravghi is the only paper not to report the plane incident on its front page. The paper chose instead to highlight Akel-backed presidential candidate George Iacovou's visit to Nicosia factories to meet employers and employees. Iacovou said the people of Cyprus deserved a better administration than the present one.

Agon says that Akis Tzohatzopoulos gave assurances upon arriving on the island that Turkish designs on Cyprus will not be implemented. The Greek minister said Turkish violations of national air space are always dealt with by the Greek Air Force.

Machi says Holbrooke will discuss with Turkey's leaders a new package of proposals for a Cyprus solution. The paper says the American diplomat is trying to convince Ankara to be more flexible in its stance on the Cyprus problem so as to facilitate an upgrading of Turkey's relations with the European Union.

© Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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